An incredible 2017 at Antenna

header: featuring icons by Amanda Cassingham-Bardwell & Kiernan Dunn. image: The final test run of the Paper Machine, Photo by .

Just a few months ago, while everything was slowing down in the summer heat, we were busy on a secret project: Paper Machine, a 5000 sq ft space dedicated to print, which swung open its doors in November at 6330 Saint Claude Ave in the Lower Ninth Ward. This gives us a space to expand what we can do with print, while providing more opportunities for artists and writers, with six dedicated studios, an artist book archive, residency space for visitors, and so much more. This was developed as we continued to expand all of our other offerings to artists and writers throughout the year. And as we are about to embark on our 13th year, I am extremely excited about what we have in store for New Orleans. There has been excitement building for the Tricentennial of the city in 2018, and while there will certainly be many things celebrating 300 years of bureaucracy, Antenna will be digging into some challenging aspects of that history. In April, we will host Fossil Free Fest, exploring the history of extraction industries in the region and the ethics of funding art and education from those industries while postulating what a fossil free culture could look like. And later in the fall, nearly three years of work will come together in the culmination of Slave Rebellion Reenactment, a project organized by Antenna::Spillways resident-artist Dread Scott focused on the 1811 Louisiana slave revolt, which occurred just outside the city and was the largest in the country’s history. This while experimenting with new print-centric programming at Paper Machine, and so many more opportunities for local artists and writers. I feel so fortunate to have overseen the development of this chapter of Antenna, and the next year feels so bright it’s almost blinding.

Bob Snead
Antenna Executive Director

Image: Audience at the Backyard Film Festival, November 2017 a 2017-18 Platforms Fund Awarded project, photo by Deorin Payne.


in grants to 18 collaborative and independent artistic projects across New Orleans through the Platforms Fund.

Image: Antenna::Signals, May 2017 organized in collaboration with A Studio in the Woods. photo by Bob Snead.


directly supporting 170 artists & writers involved in Antenna programming with honoraria, stipends, and salaries.

Image: Audience for the November 2017 Talk with Antenna::Spillways Artist-in-Residence Dread Scott and local historian Leon Waters organized in collaboration with Tulane’s New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. Photo by Bob Snead.


2017 saw a total attendance of over 7,500 visitors to the various programs produced by Antenna, and 93,727 unique visitors viewing 285 new articles, reviews, & interviews online at

Image: The exterior of Paper Machine features a mural by Antenna artist Carl Joe Williams wrapping the entire building at 6330 St. Claude Ave. Photo by Bob Snead.


December 2017 marked the grand opening of Antenna’s Paper Machine, a new space to enhance, amplify, and explore New Orleans’ rich printing heritage, while providing significant opportunities for artists and residents of the Lower Ninth Ward and beyond.

Image: New York based writer Ada Calhoun reading from her book Wedding Toasts I’lll Never Give for an Antenna RM220 event in June 2017 at the French Quarter Wedding Chapel. Photo by Bob Snead.


presenting some of the most dynamic artists & writers from New Orleans & beyond.

Image: 2017 Draw-A-Thon, photo by Traven Stout.


On the most creative day of the year in New Orleans, Antenna welcomed 1,200 participants to the Draw-A-Thon’s return to The Green Project, where the event was originally hosted in 2006.

Image: Polo Silk speaking at the Antenna::Signals event in August 2017 hosted at Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge. Polo also had his first solo exhibition at Antenna in 2017 featuring his 30 years of photos of the New Orleans bounce scene. photo by Bob Snead.


In 2017, Antenna hosted eight open calls for visual arts exhibitions, original writings for publications, residencies, and other creative projects.

Image: Photo from the New Orleans RTA transit system featuring work by Chloë Bass embedded within the advertising on all buses in the city. To the right, the app in use, available on all apple IOS devices. Photo by jeaniusann via instagram.


This year, Spillways Artist-in-Residence Chloë Bass worked with Antenna to create its second app-based creative project, City Palette. Download it at!

Image: September 2017 Exhibition curated by Danny Orendorff Interiors, Icons, Inheritance featuring 9 New Orleans based artists. photo by AnnieLaurie Erickson.


In 2017, the 13 artists that organize Antenna’s gallery contributed over 900 volunteer hours to develop 19 exhibitions, fostering new risk-taking projects from local, national, & international artists.


Antenna produced 10 new publications in 2017 featuring collaborations between local artists and writers as well as launched a new series of comics by local authors. You can order them right now online!

Image: Crawfish boil for visiting artist Marion Tu in April 2017. Photo by Bob Snead.


In 2018 Antenna will embark on several new endeavors:
Fossil Free Fest, a three day public festival featuring roundtable conversations, keynotes, film screenings, art exhibitions, and workshops to imagine and plan for a fossil free culture.
-A partnership with NOVAC will produce short documentaries featuring presenters from the Antenna::Signals live event series.
-Affordable classes and workshops for the general public and educators that teach design skills, letterpress techniques, bookmaking, and other print-based explorations at Paper Machine developed in partnership with Southern Letterpress and Gutwrench Press.
-An in-school Draw-A-Thon program that will partner with Homer Plessy to scale the annual event to fit within a typical school day to present a sort of ‘field day for the arts.’
-A new cohort of Antenna::Spillways Resident artists and writers, as well as the actualization of projects by current residents Dread Scott and Molly Rideout.

image: From the Antenna Gallery Exhibition: “Pop That Thang,” August 2017, by Polo Silk.


Antenna programming would not be possible without support by individuals like you! Visit to make a tax deductible contribution to help make 2018 another incredible year for art and writing in New Orleans.

And you will be in good company! Support for Antenna programming in 2017 was provided by Individuals like you, the National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, VIA Art Fund, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, RosaMary Foundation, Ella West Freeman Foundation, Edward Wisner Grant Donation, Kabacoff Family Foundation, Gore Family Fund, Art4Moore Foundation, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans, New Orleans City Council & Cox Communication Grant, Azby Fund, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Entergy Charitable Foundation, Pinckelope Foundation, Bywater CDC, a Community Arts Grant administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans and made possible by the City of New Orleans, and by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.